The Perfect Wines for the Perfect Schnitzel

SchnitzelIt is a dish that may have originated in northern Italy, where it’s known as costoletta alla Milanese, but it has become the undisputed national dish of Austria.

We speak of the breaded, fried veal cutlet known as wiener schnitzel, and there is no better place to savor authentic wiener schnitzel than in Vienna. After all, you’ll find part of the dish’s name in the city’s name: In Austria, Vienna is known as Wien.

Countless restaurants serve wiener schnitzel, but no restaurant does it better than Figmueller Wollzeile, which has three locations in Vienna — the original, opened in 1905; a second, just a few doors down the street, built to handle the overflow; and now a third, a few additional doors away, to handle the overflow from the second restaurant.

If you’re fortunate enough to land a table at the original restaurant, you’ll be able to hear the dish being prepared. That’s right, you’ll hear it. Each wiener schnitzel is hammered flat until it’s about 12 inches in diameter — large enough to completely cover a dinner plate.

Figmueller Wollzeile offers a number of traditional Austrian dishes, including broiled beef with chive sauce and apple horseradish; glazed calf’s liver with fried onion rings and baked apple; and veal goulash with butter dumplings.

But if you have time for only one big meal in Vienna, the wiener schnitzel — simply prepared with flour, eggs and bread crumbs, then fried to a golden brown — is the dish you must have.

Servers will recommend Gruner Veltliner, Austria’s signature white wine, to accompany the schnitzel, and that’s a solid choice. It also pairs well with Chardonnay, Riesling, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer. Prefer red wine? Opt for a fruit-forward Pinot Noir (known in Austria as Blauburgunder or Blauer Spatburgunder).

And as the accompanying photo illustrates, there’s no need to save room for dessert.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
One comment on “The Perfect Wines for the Perfect Schnitzel
  1. […] Of course, no visit to Austria is complete without devoting at least one meal to one of that country’s signature dishes: wiener schnitzel. That was the topic of one of our recent blogs, and in case you missed it, you can read it here: […]

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